Save The Environment! Fight Against ‘Flushable’ Wet Wipes Is Gaining Momentum
Within the last month The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have both published articles about the importance of properly disposing of items (FOG and flushable wipes), and what happens when we don’t. As cities continue to grow and infrastructure continues to age, it is more important than ever to pay attention to what you are putting down your kitchen sink drain and toilet.
FACT: Fats, oils and grease should NEVER go down the kitchen sink drain, and flushable wipes are NOT flushable. *When in doubt, throw it out (in a trash can).
The problem is that INDA & EDANA standards for “flushable” wet wipes, which are designed by the product manufacturers themselves, is like tobacco companies setting safe smoking limits.
When ’biodegradable’ is used on a packet or inferred, that doesn’t tell us how long it takes for the product to breakdown, nor if they are able to breakdown in all environments. Coffee grounds are also biodegradable and “natural” but will ruin pipes.
In Australia, the maker of White King has been fined $700,000 for false and misleading claims about its “flushable” toilet and bathroom cleaning wet wipes. The Federal Court ordered the penalties against cleaning product manufacturer Pental in a court action initiated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), following a referral by consumer group Choice in 2016.
(25 August 2018) “Many wipes claim on their packaging to be “flushable,” but almost all of them contain rayon or viscose, said Rob Villée, executive director of the Plainfield Area Regional Sewerage Authority in Middlesex, N.J.”
(26 August 2018) They analysed wipes sold as “flushable” on the basis that they contain only cellulose, a form of wood pulp that is biodegradable. “The study demonstrated polyester, high-density polyethylene and polyethylene/vinyl acetate in some flushable wipes,” according to the researchers, led by Hemda Garelick, a professor of chemistry at Middlesex University.
Just few days ago the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) called Kimberly-Clark’s ‘flushable’ wipes “nothing short of an environmental catastrophe” as the first day of a 3-week trial kicked off in the Federal Court.
In 2016, news.com.au revealed Kimberly-Clark once banned staff from flushing its own “flushable” wet wipes down office toilets due to major issues the products caused to the company’s sewerage system.
Luckily from reusable cloths to cleaning gel, there are a number of eco-friendly companies catering to these growing environmental needs. You can get SATU laboratory toilet paper gel from pharmacies or from here.